This is without question the most important election in our lifetimes. At least that’s what the pundits—not to mention the campaigns themselves—say.
It seems to be true, though, except for the last election, when they said the same thing.
Yeah, it’s true. When Romney was taking on Obama in 2012, conservative icon Dennis Prager was quite clear. Even acknowledging that the “most important election” cliché is “the usual description of presidential elections,” he nevertheless pressed it as “true this time.” In fact, 2012 was not just the most important in our lifetime, but “possibly since America’s founding.”
Of course, there was at least one person who disagreed.
Just two years before he had called the 2010 midterm elections “not simply the most important of my lifetime. It is the most important since the Civil War.”
According to a chronicle by the Atlantic, Rush Limbaugh acted out the same drama: 2012 was the most important, but so was 2010.
Except, in Limbaugh’s case, he also said the same thing about Bush vs. Gore in 2000: “No question about it. This is the most important election in our history.”
If you haven’t figured out from just this much that the media—beloved or bewitching—is playing you over and over, then read, oh, just a couple more (see bottom of article for sources):
2008 Senators Joseph Biden, Christopher Dodd, and Barack Obama each called it “the most important election in my lifetime.”
According to The American Scholar, “McCain and Senator Hillary Clinton upped the ante to ‘a century or more’ and ‘in our nation’s history’ respectively.”
2008 Rudy Giuliani: “2008 is the most important election in our lifetime.”
2008 Caroline Kennedy: “this is the most important election since I was a child.”
2004 Sen. John Kerry (vs. G. W. Bush): “My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime.”
2000 DNC Chair Joseph Andrew (on G. W. Bush vs. Al Gore): “It’s certainly the most important election of my lifetime.”
1996 Ralph Reed (describing Bill Clinton vs. Bob Dole): “the most important election of our lifetime.”
1996 Newt Gingrich (on Clinton v. Dole): “the most important election in 100 years.”
Gingrich would repeat the same mantra about his own bid for the White House in 2012.
1996 John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO: “the most critical election in the long history of the American labor movement.”
1992 Bill Clinton (vs. G. H. W. Bush): “the most important election in a generation.”
1988 Sen. Robert C. Byrd (describing G. H. W. Bush vs. Dukakis): “It may be the most important election of this century.”
1984 Ronald Reagan (vs. Walter Mondale): “This is the most important election in this nation in 50 years.”
1984 Walter Mondale (vs. Raegan): “This is the most important election of our lives. This is a race we can’t afford to lose.”
1980 Nancy Reagan (on Reagan vs. Carter): “This is the most important election of my life.”
1976 Gerald Ford (vs. Jimmy Carter): “I think this election is one of the most vital in the history of America.”
1960 Nixon and Kennedy each said it was the “most important election”
1952 Harry Truman (on Eisenhower vs. Adlai Stevenson): “I believe also that this is one of the most important, if not the most important, election since the Civil War.”
1924 Joseph Levenson (describing Calvin Coolidge vs. John Davis): “I look upon the coming election as the most important in the history of this country since the Civil War.”
(In that same year, 1924, Phyllis Schlafly was born. She died this year, but not before she said 2016 “could be the most important presidential election of our lifetime.”)
1864 Abraham Lincoln (vs. George B. McClellan): “We have had many important elections, but never one so important as that now approaching…. The republic is approaching what is to be one of the most important elections in its history.”
1856 Sen. Stephen Douglas (on Buchanan vs. Frémont vs. Filmore): declared the nation was facing the most important election since 1800.
I am sure there are more, I’ve just reached the point of diminishing returns for finding them. I hope you get the point. There has probably not been a single election in our history which some politico has not windjammed about “the most important election” and probably convinced many.
It’s so bad that in some cases I have seen, the pundit is so aware they’re repeating what the LA Times called “the most overused superlative ever” that they preface their statements something like this: “I know they say this every election, but this time it’s true, and here’s why. . . .” Prager, for one, used this tactic, noting that this time he’s not crying wolf!
I write this little exposé because after yesterday’s article, some people reacted with abject panic: “then what do we do! One of these two is going to end up in the White House! SCOTUS justices are at stake! Hillary hates America! But Trump’s so bad! What do we do! This could be the most important election ever!”
This panic suggests these readers have little sense of history and/or have not read or understood much that American Vision has been doing since 1978. They have not gotten the central messages of God and Government and Restoring America One County at a Time.
The first book taught us that all government starts with self-government and family government. Yet Christians continue to act as if they can fix this nation via the centralized powers of Washington, D.C., before they get their own houses and churches in order. It. Won’t. Happen. And trying to do so is bad stewardship.
The second book teaches how our most fixable problems and their solutions are local and personal. So, for example, if you won’t get your kids out of socialistic government schools, quit complaining about the social agenda of the left. If you can’t confront the out-of-control debt spending in your own county, quit complaining about Washington and Hillary. She’s not the problem. You are. You could fix your own socialism, at least some of it, and you don’t. That’s why people like her keep winning.
Likewise, our greatest evils have come from us constantly calling for national level solutions (both left and right), to the point we are now so deeply dependent upon federal money and programs. This has been true since the ink was wet on the Constitution.
Without question, there have been important elections in U.S. history, but with few exceptions, the most important things in U.S. history have not occurred because of elections, and will not be solved by them. Until conservatives in general, and Christians especially, understand this, they will continue to lose ground no matter who is president, and the last state of the house will be worse than the first.
When that time comes, you will hear all the pundits and politicians of the world trying to convince us that the election of 2020, or 2056, is the most important election ever. They will only be pandering to their markets, and there will only be one dupe to blame.
American Vision’s mission is to Restore America to its Biblical Foundation—from Genesis to Revelation. American Vision (AV) has been at the heart of worldview study since 1978, providing resources to exhort Christian families and individuals to live by a Biblically based worldview. Visit www.AmericanVision.org for more information, content and resources